Running program teaches homeless how to meet physical, personal goals

INDIANAPOLIS – An Indianapolis man who was once homeless and battled addiction, found help in a running program that brought stability to his life.

Wes Doty said when he was first asked to join Back on My Feet, a program that involved a 5 a.m. wake up call, he was resistant.

"I mean my first reaction was you’ve got to be crazy - like what’s that going to do for me?” he said.

Though running in the cold wasn’t his idea of fun, he said he had nothing to lose.

Doty said the program helped change the way he thought, and he credits it as a key to his recovery.

"You know, it’s that process of slowly changing the little things and overtime it becomes normal,” said Doty. “They built my confidence up and they just gave me hope that there was a better way to live life.”

Participants involved in Back on My Feet learn how to set personal and physical goals while developing job training skills.

Doty will compete in the Monumental Marathon and in between trainings, he works on developing skills in the non-profit sector.

He said running provided him with time to meditate. 

“People start doing it - they start enjoying it - they start feeling good about themselves and are seeing improvements within themselves,” said Doty. “They’re challenging themselves, they’re pushing themselves and then that builds their self-confidence."

This year, Back on My Feet has three members competing in the Monumental Marathon and seven others will participate in the half marathon.

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